When it comes to preparing for an uncertain future, no doubt the phrase “food and water storage” comes to mind pretty quickly – and why not? Being self-sufficient during times of natural disaster or economic hardship is certainly reward by itself, no matter the cost. But when it comes to storing wheat, grains, and fruit, what are the best ways to ensure all those nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are there when you need them?
Here are some tips you can follow when it comes to securing your long-term food storage – how to prepare for the long-term, follow these and your food will stay fresh longer, perhaps even indefinitely.
First of all, there’s a couple of things you definitely don’t want to get into your food storage: sunlight, moisture, oxygen, and especially insects and other pests. Anything you plan on storing long-term should be stored in food-grade plastic containers – keep an eye out for the recycle symbol (usually located on the bottom or lid of the container) with a #2 beside it, and especially the letters HDPE (stands for ‘high-density polyethylene’).
Wash out the containers with soap and water, and dry thoroughly before storing anything inside. As for the lids, you want them to be as air-tight as possible. The best ones to get are called gamma lids, which basically have a rubber o-ring on the inside and make removing and replacing much easier – they are a bit more expensive, but definitely worth the investment.
Along with sturdy plastic bins, according to readynutrition.com, food preppers often like to take a multi-barrier approach – it makes the food last longer and better ensures protection from the elements. To place inside the containers, they recommend the thickest grade of mylar bags you can afford.
This sturdy plastic material will add an additional layer of protection against the corrosive effects of oxygen – the thicker the mylar, the tastier the food will be in the long run as well. Also valuable in keeping food fresh are oxygen absorbers and desiccant packets.
Oxygen absorbers will, obviously absorb oxygen, but remember that they start working the moment they hit open air, so work quickly to follow the directions and only add what you need into each container. Desiccant packets, on the other hand, do not absorb moisture, they merely maintain the moisture level – and if they break open inside the container, you’ll have to throw the food away!
Long-term food storage is definitely an investment in the future, so make sure you read labels, follow instructions, and do everything you can to make it last as long as possible. After all, nothing beats the peace of mind that comes from preparation.
Video about how to prepare for the long-term: